susbtituting formula???

Stephanie - posted on 11/25/2008 ( 16 moms have responded )

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i have a 3 month old baby girl and she is strickly breast feed but she gets finicky at evening feedings and doesnt sleep very well ate night i have been told by a few people to give her a bottle of formula for her right before bed feeding and she would sleep longer i just dont know any opinions?

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User - posted on 11/26/2008

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It's called cluster feeding. All my kids would be on the boob almost constantly for 3-4 hours before bedtime. Very tough I know! As she gets older it will get less and less until it is just a normal feed before bed. Hang in there momma!

Tammie - posted on 11/26/2008

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My daughter is the same way, not all the time but often enough that it does get frustrating. I just try and roll with it and remind myself it's not always going to be like this! Our problem is that it's rare for her to want to nurse for more than 15 minutes at a time, so it felt like she was always eating. The older she gets, the better it gets so just try and hang in there! Now if only mine would eat from a bottle occasionally lol

Jody - posted on 11/26/2008

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Regardless of all the advice you will get either for or against supplementing, you need to do what YOU feel is best for your baby. A supplement feed may not necessarily make your baby sleep better through the night, but there is no harm in trying. I have supplemented my baby since he was 4 weeks old, and he is fine. My milk supply was low, and regardless of what we tried, it never improved, so by afternoon, I don't have enough, even though I express after every feed, even after his supplement. We never had sleeping issues though. I use bottles for breastfed babies and there has never been any nipple confusion. He is putting on weight and is happy and healthy. That's all that matters.

Jen - posted on 11/25/2008

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DON'T SUPPLEMENT WITH FORMULA!!! I have breastfed my 5 month old since birth, had to supplement for a bit at the beginning, but by 2 months was strictly breastfeeding. At 3 months they go through a HUGE growth spurt. It sucks ( pardon the pun) but your baby at night and in the evenings is "putting in her order" of food for the next day. If you supplement, tomorrow, you will make however many ounces less milk you fed your baby. I know it's hard and sleepless...but give it a few days and it will get back to normal. Do try the fenugreek, that will help you make more, but your baby is trying to tell your body how much to make. Unless you are getting ready to wean her off the breast and onto formula eventually anyway. If you want to continue breastfeeding though, DON'T supplement.

User - posted on 11/25/2008

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It's hard knowing what the right thing is to do isn't it???? What do you mean by finicky ??? Formula does take a little longer to digest than breastmilk...but it doesn't guarantee a good night sleep form your baby.

[deleted account]

My son is 10 weeks who is breastfed and i noticed the same thing... at evening feeds he was getting restless while feeding and would jerk his head back while he was still latched on (ouch) and he would punch me and kick me so i thought the same, maybe he's not getting enough and he was hurting me... we both seemed frustrated. I didnt want to give formulas so i started pumping every 2 hours and bottle feeding him the breast milk he seems to be much happier and he wants to go to bed at around 8pm and sleeps right through until 5am. Hope this helps

User - posted on 11/25/2008

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The vast majority of babies, breastfed or not, get hungry in the hours before bedtime. It's called cluster feeding. It's totally normal for a breastfed baby to want to tank up for the night ahead. It's also normal to have a supply dip in the evening; your milk is most plentiful in the morning and dwindles later in the day. This is nothing that needs to be corrected.

Babies also do not sleep well. It is not the norm to have a baby that sleeps through the night (defined as 5 hours straight) until after a *year*. My daughter usually slept a maximum of 2 hours in a stretch for the first year of her life, and magically began sleeping 7+ hour stretches around the 12-month point.

Breastfed babies should be fed often, and on demand. This ensures that they're getting the food they need, as breast milk is digested more quickly than formula. Formula-fed babies tend to sleep longer because it takes longer for them to get hungry. However, feeding a baby bottles without pumping milk at the same time is a good way to start on the path to truly having a low milk supply. Breastfeeding is about supply and demand - the increase in demand creates an increase in supply, and when demand decreases, so does your supply. Eventually, you'll end up having to switch to formula completely.

Also, keep in mind that babies are *constantly* growing, especially in the first six months. There are growth and developmental spurts all over the place, both of which translate into fusiness, lack of sleep, and frequent feedings. Give your baby what she's asking for - boobies! It'll all fix itself in time.

User - posted on 11/25/2008

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well for me i breastfed and sometime would have to give a bottle but that was rare but they didn't care for formula straight since they were breastfed so i did a 50/50 ratio of milk to formula and that worked, it kinda help fill them up more, but later when babies are older you can add rice to the milk to fill their tummies up :) good luck, i remember those days:)

User - posted on 11/25/2008

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If I could recomend one thing to you, make sure that you choose a bottle that is going to make the transition easier for your baby for the nipple to the bottle. I have heard that the wide/natural nipples are easier for the baby. If you want to know the make and the model of the one I used let me know, I can also direct you in the right direction on where to get it.

Tiffany - posted on 11/25/2008

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I dont know about it helping her sleep but at 3 months I had to start my baby girl on formula. I suggest if you have to ease her into it so it wont mess with her stomach, my baby had a bit of constipation while she got used to it. It did go away after a couple weeks. I have been told you cant start them cold on it, so I did a 1 to 3 ratio at first and then worked her up after a week if she was doing ok with it.

Jennifer - posted on 11/25/2008

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My son had what we lovingly referred to as a "witching" hour between 6-10 pm, where he wanted to nurse almost hourly. Lactation consultant said it was normal, and to let him nurse when needed. It was painfully exhausting, but it leveled off around 3 months. Hang in there if you can, but there's no shame in supplementing if you need to! Good luck!

Monica - posted on 11/25/2008

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Talk to your babies pediatrician & they can tell you which kind of formula to start your baby on. It's true i've heard alot of people say that they will sleep longer on formula but certain types could also make your baby gassy.

Beth - posted on 11/25/2008

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If you want her to stay on breast milk, why not express and give her a bottle of expressed milk before bed. It will do the same thing as the formula, but she can stay exclusively breast fed. Or put her to bed if she will sleep straight away and give her the bottle a few hrs later (dream feed - pick her up, feed her and put her back without changing her or waking her - worked well with my son but not my daughter, she just wanted the top up before bed.) They both slept through from 2 months (10-12hrs), but doesn't work with every baby.

Best time to express if after feeds - especially after the first feed of the day.

Rena - posted on 11/25/2008

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sometimes that can work really well but i found with my lil girl we had to try a few formulas as the first cple caused her to bind up. With my lil one i found if you make a night routine of a bath thn whn she is dessed and warm wrap her and sit with her and read a book to her. with a full belly, wrapped and settled the constant drone of your voice settles and relaxes and she just dosses off for the night calm

Jen - posted on 11/25/2008

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After talking to my doctor, I had to substitute some formula in the evenings when my baby was about 3 months old. All she would do in the evenings was eat, and I knew that she wasn't getting full. I tried fenugreek, an herb to increase milk supply, but that wasn't enough. We actually started by giving her a bit of formula during the day, and giving bottled breast milk and a bit of formula in the evenings. This went on for about two months, until our baby started having a tablespoon of cereal before bed. Now, I don't have to supplement much if at all.

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